Vital legislation is getting bipartisan support for National Cord Blood Inventory to reauthorize funding for cord blood and bone marrow programs for an additional 5 years.
UPDATE: THIS IS COMING TO VOTE IN THE US HOUSE ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 8th!!! PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT.
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS HERE: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2820
As an expectant parent, you need to understand what policies and facilities are being put in place right now having a direct effect on the medical future of you and your child.
Did you realize that a national public cord blood bank already exists in the USA ? It is called the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI). It is administered by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)–the same people who run “Be the Match” and one of our partners in cord blood education. Over 30 years old, the NMDP now manages a registry of 11 million adult volunteer bone marrow donors and 193,000 donated cord blood units. Through their international network they have access worldwide to even more–because, as the name suggests, bone marrow and cord blood BOTH need to be MATCHED to the recipient. These cord blood donations have already been used in marvelous ways (learn about the diseases treated with cord blood).
Did you realize that current government funding and policies are not sufficient for the growing needs of the cord blood community? Because of the MATCHING required for cord blood transplants, it is vitally important that our National Cord Blood Inventory represent a large quantity of donors and, even more importantly, a broad range of ethnic groups. To build a high-quality bank, the NCBI need donors — the right policies will help us get those donors, especially donors from diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, to properly save these cord blood donations the NCBI needs money — the right priorities in government will ensure that these programs get the funding they need.
Recently, Cord Blood Association President Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and NMDP Chief Executive Officer Jeff Chell both testified before the House in support of re-authorizing the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Re-authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2820). According to the article recently published by the Cord Blood Association (read the full article here). . .
H.R. 2820 was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). It would authorize $23 million per year for the National Cord Blood Inventory from 2016 through 2020, and $30 million per year for the C.W. Bill Young Transplant Program over those same years. CBA leaders are working with members of the Senate to ensure that similar legislation is introduced in that chamber in the near future.
The fact that this legislation has bipartisan support for the National Cord Blood Inventory demonstrates how non-controversial cord blood actually is. . . as the Cord Blood Association reminds us on their website, “Cord blood biology recognizes no political boundaries.” Cord blood is matched to recipients worldwide and shipped internationally everyday to help people get the treatment they need. However, this is not done without difficulty and Dr. Kurtzberg also spoke about the need for policy change regarding the difficulty in opening public cord blood banks saying. . .
“The process of obtaining and maintaining a license has been challenging for the public banks to date,” Dr. Kurtzberg said. “Many of the regulations, created for drug manufacturing, are not easily applied to manufacturing of cord blood units.”
Indeed, it is time for change. We are in a privileged position as adults to really make a difference for the next generation. We need to lay the groundwork now in governments around the world to make sure that the right policies and funding are put in place as well as supported on a routine basis — making the preservation of cord blood a new standard of care for all parents.
Would you like to show your support for this legislation? Please write your representative.
Do you have questions about donating cord blood? Follow our step-by-step guide on cord blood.
Source: Cord Blood Association